In a state like North Carolina, outdoor activities dominate the warmer months. And with plenty of greenways, trails, and miles of coastline to burn some calories, we’re likely to be a pretty healthy state. Overall, we ranked
37 out of 50 in terms of America’s health rankings (ouch) but that doesn’t mean we aren’t healthy! Some counties are just healthier than others. Using County Health Rankings which takes several factors into consideration (health, environment, lifestyle) here are the ten healthiest counties in North Carolina.
Note: All rankings are based on a ratio scale of 100 So when you see, #4, that means it is 4 out of 100 (counties).
1. Orange County
Orange County encompasses well-known places like Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Hillsborough. With abundant farmers markets, walking trails, parks, and healthy living on the brain only 13% of the population in Orange County experienced poor to fair health.
2. Wake County
Wake County is known for the state capitol, Raleigh, as well as Cary, and Wake Forest. Wake County ranked #1 in terms of quality of life with only 11% of the population experiencing poor to fair health. Yet, environmental factors, length of life, and health behaviors led it to the number two spot, putting it closely beneath Orange County.
3. Watauga County
Watauga County is known primarily for Boone and Blowing Rock. Ranking number 3 on the list, only 13% of the population experiences poor to fair health. Maybe it's the fresh mountain air, or the abundant amount of hiking trails all around, residents here are pretty healthy.
4. Union County
In Union County you will find Monroe, Waxhaw, and Indian Trail. Only 16% of the population experiences poor to fair health. Union County also has a low percentage of smokers, drinkers, and excessive poor lifestyle choices. Maybe just a family environment, Union County seems like a healthy, residential area to raise an active family.
5. Mecklenburg County
Mecklenburg County is best known for the city of Charlotte. As the largest city in North Carolina, it's quite impressive that only 14% of the population experiences poor to fair health. With miles of greenways for biking, walking, and running, and tons of meetups and fitness groups, Charlotte is an active, healthy city!
6. Transylvania County
Brevard is the largest place in Transylvania County, and while the mountains are associated with laid back living, or retirement, the residents here still fully engage in healthy, active lifestyles. Only 11% of the population experiences poor to fair health, but higher percentages of bad health habits (like smoking and drinking) led it to #6. Brevard is surrounded by beautiful mountains, plenty of trails, and whitewater rafting. With so much gorgeous outdoor space to explore, it's easy to see why residents are active.
7. Cabarrus County
Cabarrus County is known for Concord, Kannapolis, Harrisburg and of course...NASCAR, but it's also a very healthy county. Only 16% of residents experience poor to fair health. It's safe to say that when not at the races, residents are spending time walking in nature or at the gym.
8. New Hanover County
New Hanover County encompasses popular destinations like Wilmington, Wrightsville, Carolina, and Kure Beach. With awesome waves to surf each day, it's no surprise only 15% of the population experiences poor to fair health. Yet, higher bad health habits led it to be below Cabarrus County.
9. Chatham County
Chatham County encompasses both Siler City and Pittsboro. While being fairly small towns, the residents find ways to entertain themselves and stay active. With miles of countryside to explore it makes sense only 19% of the population experiences poor to fair health. A high length of life expectancy, paired with a good physical environment secured the 9 place on the list.
10. Guilford County
Cities like Greensboro and High Point and make up Guilford County. With greenways, parks, and lakes nearby this piedmont county ranks number ten with only 12% of the population experiencing poor to fair health. Yet, bad health habits like obesity and smoking, as well as physical environment (a whopping 43/100) landed it last on the list.
Durham County, Davie County, Henderson County, Buncombe County, Dare County.